Inner Monster Out

Label: Inner Wound/Connecting Music
Three similar bands: Dark Moor/Red Wine/Fairyland
Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm
01. Gag Order
02. Angel with Horns
03. Habitchual
04. In the Name of Love
05. Inner Monster Out
06. I'm Your Mind
07. My Disrupted Reality
08. A Smile Upon Death
09. Whatever Our Fortune
10. A.D.D.
11. Waste of Life
12. Ace of Spades

Dani Nolden (Vocals)
Raphael Mattos (Guitars)
Rocardo Piccoli (Bass)
Fabio Buitvidas (Drums)

Dare to Dream (2009)
Theatre of Shadows (2005)
Shadowside (EP 2001)

Mikael Stanne (vocals on 5)
Björn “Speed” Strid (vocals on 5)
Niklas Isfeldt (vocals on 5)

Mixed and mastered at Studio Fredman
Artwork by Felipe Machado Franco

Released 11/5-2012
Reviewed 17/11-2012

inner wound

When I started to listen to 'Inner Monster Out' I thought it sounded like a pretty good album, decent at last, but the more I heard it I felt it couldn't keep me interested. The last couple of times I've actually felt pretty annoyed by it, mostly because it couldn't deliver what it promised in the beginning.

Sure, Shadowside didn't promise rivers of gold and diamonds but I still thought it sounded interesting and promising. It was easy to nod along with the music and perhaps stomp your hoof along with the beat and also neigh a bit with the choruses, at least a little bit. But what's happened since the first couple of runs is something that doesn't happen very often when I review albums - that the albums just completely dies. I'm not really attracted to any of the songs and the vocals annoys me, as does the music too. Nothing really interesting at all.

Being a Brazilian band they're bound to be compared to famous countrymen here in Europe, people will probably say they sound like a combination between this and that famous brazilian band, which actually feels like one big fat lie in my eyes and ears. So does the statement by the record label that say Shadowsides third album is a "turning point in the Brazilian metal music history" and that the band is "the rising star of Brazilian rock/metal". This is no small statements and frankly I feel they're quite ridicules. To be a turning point in Brazilian metal music history when you look at the greatly impressing albums bands like Angra, Soulfly, Sepultura and so on has released the last fifteen years you need to be damn good - at least if you mean it in a positive way (which I asume the label does) - and I'm pretty sure most of you readers have already understood that I don't think this album is that.

I'm not saying Shadowside are unable to play hard rock well or that this is a blowjob orgy of some kind, but I just can't help getting a bit annoyed by how common every riff and melody on the album sound. It's not clever or ingenious anywhere in a way that you think it feels creative or fun. Instead I feel everything I hear has been done before and much better too if I'm completely honest. I'm guessing Shadowside has put a lot of effort in to 'Inner Monster Out' and I'm not saying it's all in vain or anything, but the problem is that this genre is filled to the limit of bands like Shadowside and I think the nicest thing I can say about it is that it reflects some sort of average of all this. Even the female vocalist sounds like some sort of average merge of all vocalists in heavy metal - men and women - which isn't very positive at all, considering the lack of identity this result in. A woman singing more like a woman would have been much better, or a man singing like a man… not this cross-breed of female voice Dani Nolden represents.

The strongest track of the album is the opening Gag Order, which only mean one thing for the rest of the album: disappointment. The album peaks in the beginning and go downhill from there, but Gag Order shows that potential Shadowside some day might turn in to something good. There are some creative and fun guitar lines and a decent chorus, even though most of the song is boring like the rest of them. Actually, the second song also has an interesting part right in the beginning, but otherwise it's just a "normal" boring heavy metal song with the dullest of choruses. Just like the rest of them. I think the album sounds best if you pluck it down in to fragments and pieces because there are some good ideas spread over the album that might have been good in another context. The problem with this context is not that it's completely bad but it lacks identity, it's predictable and the more I hear it the more frustrating I feel by it. I actually starts to feel that things get worse than they actually are and start to think that Danis vocals are a bit like the shrieking sound you hear when trains are stopping and that the guitars go on a bit like a hairdryer. But of course it's not that bad.

I do believe Shadowside has potential, they can do good music (some day) and become a recognized name in heavy metal. But with recognized I mean in the fasion of band like Falconer, Wizard and Burning Point - not really big but something you've heard about (and maybe from) but hardly somebodys favorite band and even less likely a band that will get involved with the really big bands. If they continue to sound like this I can't see them headlining major festivals or peaking (inter)national charts but if they'll harvest the seeds they've sown here they might get somewhere close to that. However, 'Inner Monster Out' is not there now. It's acceptable, but nothing more.



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